Pitcairn rediscovers Tapa cloth making

TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 15:49 31/05/2011

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The art of Tapa cloth making, Pitcairn style, is coming to Wellington next month.

As part of a special Pitcairn Island evening at Homewood, the British High Commissioner's residence in Karori, a Pitcairn craftswoman Meralda Warren will be telling the story of how she has rediscovered a centuries old craft.

Tapa making was brought to Pitcairn by the Tahitians who accompanied the Bounty mutineers. However the craft was all but lost by the 1940s and Ms Warren had to reconstruct the techniques for making the cloth.

She found the trees that are used for the tapa bark and the wood for the beaters that are used in the dyeing process.

On show at the invitation only Pitcairn event will be two of Ms Warren's tapa works including a portrait of the HMS Bounty. Also on show at the event will be the island's unique Mango and Roseapple honey, wooden carvings and some traditional Pitcairn food.

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- The Dominion Post

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